Version Reviewed: 1.1.1
App Reviewed on: iPhone 5
Graphics / Sound Rating:
Replay Value Rating:
If I’m being totally honest, I absolutely hated taking math in school. I was actually pretty decent at it, but it was unbearably dull for me. And yet, here I find myself getting drawn into Sharp Minds’ number puzzles like it’s nothing.
Starting out with those first few levels can be a bit of a bumpy road, though. I don’t know if I just wasn’t reading the text boxes closely enough or if it was actually explained poorly, but for a while I had absolutely no idea why I could clear one tile over another. It all eventually made sense (you’re supposed to swipe multiple blues together so that they add up to one of the numbers in yellow, then combine the like-numbered blue and yellow to clear them), but I did find myself getting a bit frustrated at first.
After those initial growing pains it became much easier to progress. Perhaps too easy, actually. That first group of levels seems to take forever to become any sort of real challenge, even when trying to finish under the move limit to earn top marks, which makes getting to the meat of Sharp Minds a real grind.
Push through the frustration of the initial tutorial and the blandness of the first 20 levels and everything picks up quite a bit. Once I started having to combine three or more tiles at once, or plan several moves ahead in order to snag a 3-star rating, I actually had a hard time putting it down. It was always “just one more level” or “I know I can do better than 2 stars.” Then even more techniques are thrown into the mix like double-tapping numbers higher than ten to create a new number from the sum of its two digits (i.e. 12 becomes 1 + 2 = 3).
Sharp Minds is admittedly a little rough around the edges, but hiding beneath that unassuming exterior (and behind a pretty rocky start) is an enjoyable math puzzle game.